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Old 10-07-2002, 04:52 PM   #1
Troubdrgrl
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Hello all,
Big GL fanhere, also a guitar player. I can't seem to find much info on Gordon's playing style. I've seen him fingerpick, and I've also seen a flatpick in his hand. Since I am working on some of his music, I kind of need a little backgroung on his style. Any Guitar pickers around here??
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Old 10-07-2002, 04:52 PM   #2
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Hello all,
Big GL fanhere, also a guitar player. I can't seem to find much info on Gordon's playing style. I've seen him fingerpick, and I've also seen a flatpick in his hand. Since I am working on some of his music, I kind of need a little backgroung on his style. Any Guitar pickers around here??
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:29 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, I'm not a guitar picker, but I did want to say welcome! There are several pickers amongst us and most if not all have knowledge or, at the very least, ideas regarding Gord's style. I'm sure they will be along at some point to answer your questions and share their thoughts. In the meantime, glad you found the forum and hope you drop in often.
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Old 10-08-2002, 02:12 PM   #4
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I learned to play guitar using Lightfoot's music. I do know his basic picking patterns, but play them without really thinking. So I'll have to sit down with my axe and work out what I'm doing. Hope to get back to you after I do this. Right now I'm at work.

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Old 10-08-2002, 02:12 PM   #5
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I learned to play guitar using Lightfoot's music. I do know his basic picking patterns, but play them without really thinking. So I'll have to sit down with my axe and work out what I'm doing. Hope to get back to you after I do this. Right now I'm at work.

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Old 10-09-2002, 08:11 AM   #6
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Lightfoot has said that his fingerpicking is based on Travis style...thumb, index, and middle finger. There is a Frets Magazine article, and an Acoustic Guitar Magazine article floating around on these fan sites that goes into more detail than I can about his style and his gear.

As background, in an interview about ten years ago Ian Tyson said that he and Gord picked up a lot of technique from Red Shea.
Gordon site Bob Gibson also.
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:01 AM   #7
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Thanks guys.I fingerpick, but it's kind of a spin-off from my banjo playing days. I guess I need to learn and practice some specific rolls. Any recommendations on travis style instruction?
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:01 AM   #8
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Thanks guys.I fingerpick, but it's kind of a spin-off from my banjo playing days. I guess I need to learn and practice some specific rolls. Any recommendations on travis style instruction?
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Old 10-10-2002, 07:27 AM   #9
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Well, none of the experienced pickers have gotten on to this thread so I - a beginner - will offer a few comments. For what it's worth, my head is about 5 years ahead of my fingers so I "know" quite a bit but can't get my fingers to behave - or at least not quickly enough.

First of all, Gord uses Travis-style fingerpicking a lot, but not exclusively. So well known songs like If You Could Read My Mind and Beautiful are picked differently. But there are many songs that are Travis picked, so learning that will stand you in good stead.

There are different variations that you can use, and in fact if you listen carefully you will hear that Gord often changes the pattern during the song or plays it differently in concert than on the original recording. So the thing to know is that you can approach the songs in different ways; possibly playing it like the recording but not necessarily exactly the same - and know that Gord does that too.

You can Travis pick Lightfoot songs with 6, 7 or 8 beats in the pattern. Remember that the pattern requires an alternating base so the first thumb pick is the low bass and the second the high for that chord. With a 6 beat pattern, you can pick T-T-M-T-I-T or T-T-I-T-M-T, for example. For 7 beat, I use T-T-I-T-M-T-I. Depending on the song, the part of the song, and your dexterity, you should play with this a bit. I use the first for the first half of Sit Down Young Stranger (except for the hammer-on D), then switch to the second in the bridge, and then play a combination for the second half. I use the second 6 beat pattern and the 7 beat pattern in Song For A Winter's Night. (The 8 beat pattern, which Gord uses in concert a lot, has the additional beat between the two "thumb" beats in the patterns I show).

My principle "teacher" has been Cathy (forgive her for not posting a response here but she has very limited computer access right now). She made me a bunch of slowed down recordings so I could practice playing with something more my speed. If you want any, just say. I'm still not up to full speed, but at least the songs are recognizable and I can "play along" with experienced players when they slow down a bit.

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Valerie Magee

Visit my GL web site at gordonlightfoot.com
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:22 AM   #10
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Valerie,
Thanks so much. I would be interested in the slowed down recordings. That would be MUCH appreciated.
I'm working on songs from IYCRMM and Sundown cd's right now. If you can get those recordings to me, email me at jfowler2000@hotmail.com and tell me what you need.
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:22 AM   #11
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Valerie,
Thanks so much. I would be interested in the slowed down recordings. That would be MUCH appreciated.
I'm working on songs from IYCRMM and Sundown cd's right now. If you can get those recordings to me, email me at jfowler2000@hotmail.com and tell me what you need.
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:13 PM   #12
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jaybyrd, I cannot add much more to what Valerie has said, apart from the fact that Gordon always uses a capo. I think I am right in saying on the 2nd fret on the 6 string. If you play the opening of 'Sit Down Young Stranger" the first few bass notes you hear are fretted at the 2nd fret up from the capo the note you hear will be G# thereafter he plays a standard G chord the bass note will be A. As there are only 3 chords in the song G, C & D it is a reasonably easy song to do. However Gordon does change key after the short Instrumental bridge, to A, D & E.
If you want to hear these songs slowed down with out changing the pitch of the notes, there is some software available which does this. It is called "Transkriber" at the moment it is being offered on a 30 day trial. I don't have the URL to hand, but will look it up and post it.
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:13 PM   #13
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jaybyrd, I cannot add much more to what Valerie has said, apart from the fact that Gordon always uses a capo. I think I am right in saying on the 2nd fret on the 6 string. If you play the opening of 'Sit Down Young Stranger" the first few bass notes you hear are fretted at the 2nd fret up from the capo the note you hear will be G# thereafter he plays a standard G chord the bass note will be A. As there are only 3 chords in the song G, C & D it is a reasonably easy song to do. However Gordon does change key after the short Instrumental bridge, to A, D & E.
If you want to hear these songs slowed down with out changing the pitch of the notes, there is some software available which does this. It is called "Transkriber" at the moment it is being offered on a 30 day trial. I don't have the URL to hand, but will look it up and post it.
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:32 PM   #14
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Transcribe URL is as follows http://www. sventhstring.demon.co.uk/xscribe/download.html
Let me know how you get on, I have found it very helpfull.
They have changed the name, when I first got this it was from a German outfit hence 'Transkriber'
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:32 PM   #15
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Transcribe URL is as follows http://www. sventhstring.demon.co.uk/xscribe/download.html
Let me know how you get on, I have found it very helpfull.
They have changed the name, when I first got this it was from a German outfit hence 'Transkriber'
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:42 PM   #16
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oops! not too sure what happened there I copied and pasted that. Lets try again http://www.seventhstring.demon.co.uk.../download.html
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:42 PM   #17
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oops! not too sure what happened there I copied and pasted that. Lets try again http://www.seventhstring.demon.co.uk.../download.html
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:33 PM   #18
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That's awesome. I've been looking for that very type of thing.
I had a guitar processor that would do that, but only 10 second clips at a time. I will check that out for sure.
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:33 PM   #19
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That's awesome. I've been looking for that very type of thing.
I had a guitar processor that would do that, but only 10 second clips at a time. I will check that out for sure.
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Old 10-11-2002, 06:15 AM   #20
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quote:Originally posted by jaybyrd:
Valerie,
Thanks so much. I would be interested in the slowed down recordings. That would be MUCH appreciated.
I'm working on songs from IYCRMM and Sundown cd's right now. If you can get those recordings to me, email me at jfowler2000@hotmail.com and tell me what you need.


Jaybird, sorry I haven't gotten back to you on this. My house got hit by a truck, forcing me to stay at my brother's house where I have limited computer access. Pick a song that you need help with and e-mail me at cathyco1@ainop.com and I'll help you out. I can work on it offline, then send you the info. Do you read tablature?

Cathy

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Old 10-11-2002, 07:21 AM   #21
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Hey Jaybyrd, you know the old saw about getting an offer you can't refuse? Well you just got one. Pick the song you want to work on first and take her up on it.

She's not kidding about her house!

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Valerie Magee

Visit my GL web site at gordonlightfoot.com
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Old 10-11-2002, 07:38 AM   #22
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There are alternatives for playing Lightfoot tunes solo: alternate tunings. Open D (DADF#AD) works very well to recreate "In My Fashion" playing the main riff up the neck. "Approaching Lavender" also works well in Open D, so does "Sundown", "Don Quixote", and "I'm not Sayin'". C tuning (CGCGCE) makes easy work of "Old Dan's Records".
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Old 10-11-2002, 11:56 AM   #23
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and the house you live in will never fall down...if you pity the stranger that stands at your door.....
Hey Cathy - has it fallen down yet??
lol
Char
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Old 10-11-2002, 01:31 PM   #24
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Char. That is wicked !!! LOL

Jaybyrd,
Take a look at the following for the basics, although you won't better Cathy's instruction.
http://www.guitarland.com/Travis.html


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Old 10-11-2002, 01:31 PM   #25
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Char. That is wicked !!! LOL

Jaybyrd,
Take a look at the following for the basics, although you won't better Cathy's instruction.
http://www.guitarland.com/Travis.html


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